Endovascular diagnosis and management of chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency: retrospective analysis of 30-day morbidity and mortality in 95 consecutive patients

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2013 Jun;200(6):1358-64. doi: 10.2214/AJR.12.8938.


Objective: The purpose of this study is to report the 30-day morbidity and mortality associated with the endovascular diagnosis and management of chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency.

Materials and methods: The medical records of 95 consecutive patients (60 women and 35 men) with a mean age of 48 years (age range, 25-66 years) who underwent diagnostic endovascular evaluation and intervention for chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency between June 2010 and September 2011 were reviewed retrospectively. All patients had a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis by McDonald criteria. Endovascular evaluation of the internal jugular and azygos veins was performed with digital subtraction venography and intravascular ultrasound. Indications for percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) were venographic findings of a greater than 50% diameter stenosis, the presence of reflux on digital subtraction venography, greater than 50% cross-sectional area stenosis by intravascular ultra-sound, or a finding of abnormal thick valves or webs by either method. The primary endpoint of this study was the 30-day mortality, and the secondary endpoint was the presence of major complications. Results are presented as means and percentages.

Results: A total of 107 procedures were performed in 95 patients. Endovascular evaluation showed venous lesions requiring intervention in 90 of 95 patients (94.7%) and was negative in five of 95 patients (5.3%). A total of 193 venous lesions were treated; angioplasty was technically successful in 188 of 193 (97.4%) lesions. Internal jugular vein thrombosis after PTA was identified in three of 95 (3.2%) of the treated patients. Bleeding at the puncture site not requiring transfusion occurred in four of 95 patients (4.2%). There were no reported procedure-related deaths.

Conclusion: The results of the current study suggest that endovascular evaluation and management of chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency is safe, with low morbidity and no procedure-related mortality.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction*
  • Azygos Vein
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Jugular Veins
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / mortality
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinal Cord Ischemia / diagnosis*
  • Spinal Cord Ischemia / etiology*
  • Spinal Cord Ischemia / mortality
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional*
  • Venous Insufficiency / diagnosis*
  • Venous Insufficiency / etiology*
  • Venous Insufficiency / mortality